The influence of Broken Homes on Children has being well explained in this project work.
1.2 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The study on the reduction of the influence of broken homes on children’s academic performance in the selected primary schools in owerri, is a study that peeps into the social voice are tagged ”Broken homes”.
Broken home(s) come(s) as a result of soiled marriage relationship. In his book “Human Relations”, Carvell (1980) educates that human relations deals with the interactions of people in the wide variety of circumstances and social settings.
The human interactions may be present and rewarding, or they may be frustrating and create conflict. These exchanges can involve parents and children, husbands and wives,young and old, teachers and students, groups or different political or religious persuasions,and their bosses.
“Each social setting within & which people interact has an influence over the nature of the human relations that occur and the manner in which the individuals work out the resolutions to the problems the confront. The number of persons involved, the issues of the stake, the willingness and competence of the participants to deal with the issues, and the level of respect the individuals have for each other all influence the outcome and the quality of the human relations that are practiced as well as the level of satisfaction each person involved derives from the encounter.
In marriage as a human relation which involves husband and wives, the order has its origin in the Garden of Eden. The Genesis story bore it that God created heaven and later made Adam and later made eve and commissioned them to associate and live together.(see the Bible).
From the above reference came the origin and beginning of marriage based on the first coming together of people to form a group, union, association etc there has been a mynad of groups formation which marriage is one. Since then men have been marrying women. The choice of a bride by a groom had been effective and actually done.
Boys having reached young adulthood, most individuals have developed a nuptial system of human relations that works, none or less, in the usual social situations called family.
Marriage which is the core union of two or more people, had come to stay. Parents and guardian have been playing a role of leadership that requires them to maintain both an acceptable level of sociability with their children and acceptable standards of marriage or family existence.
This makes it necessary to establish a family, from the view point if parents-in-laws, who have the responsibility for leading their son and daughter to integrate into a family situation that motruates them (children) to work together productively, cooperatively, and with economic, psychological, and social satisfaction.
Ola – michael (2003) in his sociology of education opines that each family has its culture. In some respects, according to him, unlike any other. The socialization process which begins in the home continues in the neighbourhood and in the school. The normal problems of growing up, of personality development, are also made easier or more difficult by the family culture or the elements in it.
1.2 Statement of the problem
As a result of broken homes, children (student) affected are thereby facing a lot of social, economic and psychological problems which hinder them from effective performance from their academic activities. As a result of this, the research work will help us to identify the reasons for these difficulties and suggest a suitable method to adapt for effective and efficient marriage relations.
1.2 THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY ON THE INFLUENCE OF BROKEN HOMES ON CHILDREN
The limit of this study is that focuses of the issue of broken homes and its reduction among the children for effective academic performances.
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this research is to look at broken homes. It aims at accessing inter and intra relation between marriages in Nigeria.
In essence, the study intends to unfold certain reasons for broken homes and some appropriate and remedies to solve broken of marriage and families to enable the affected children to perform well in their academic activities.
1.5 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The topic ”Reducing the influence of broken homes on children’s academic performance in selected primary schools in owerri using critical thinking” its very significant because it will help us to know the relation of husband and wives in owerri and how broken homes have affected their children’s academic performances. It also intends to enlighten us towards the major courses of broken homes and remedies to reducing, if not erasing, the problem that causes broken homes.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study is expected to examine and suggest a possible solution to the following questions.
(i) Do broken homes influence the children’s academic performances be reduced?
(ii) Can broken homes be rejoined as result of marriage counselors/ intervention?
1.7 Definition of technical terms?
2.0 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
For a meaning understanding of broken homes, there is a need for us to examine the meaning of the term ”Broken homes”. Many attempts have been made to provide a generally acceptable explanation of broken homes. This has been mainly due to the fact that each scholar or socialist advances his own definition based on his ideological affinity or historical allegiance and interaction.
Longman dictionary of contemporary English defines a broken home as a family that no longer lives together because the parents have divorced. This definition extends to broken marriage which is a marriage that has ended because the husband and wife do not live together anymore.
In the family structure, the family is one of the primary groups of society, concerned with face to face relationships. Throughout man history’s, however, and throughout the world both the family and the institution of marriage display a considerable cultural variability. But whatever form such institutions heavy have regard to the fact that the human child is for a longtime dependent for its biological survival upon the adult members of those institutions in general terms, it is sufficient to note here that marriage provides a certain secure frame work for the process of reproduction, and the family affords a medium for primary socialization.
2.1 TYPES OF FAMILY
There are two main types of family, namely the extended family and the nuclear family. The extended family or kin group is found in the next indies and in such countries as India Pakistan, and includes a span of three generations within the total house hold. On the other hand the nuclear family comprises basically the father, the mother and the children. Our own society is composed of a vast number of these small social ‘cells’ or nuclear families, which are gradually becoming smaller in size with the increase in the knowledge and practice of contraception (Western mark, 1921).
Murdock (1949) makes the distinction between two sorts of nuclear family, which are not essentially different in their composition, but which involve rather a different point of view. Every normal adult belongs to a family of orientation, in which a man is born reared, and which will include his father, mother, brothers and sisters. And he also belongs to a family of procreation which he established by his marriage and which includes his wife and children.
Western March 2 (1921) in Chikezie (2005) held that the family has not rooted marriage, but that on institution out of the family. This institution is found in a variety of forms which fall into the two categories of monogamy and polygamy.
Polygamy occurs when one man is married to more than one woman; the Korean, for example permits a Muslim male to have upto four wives at any one time. it should, however be noted that even in this context there are certain admonitions about a capacity of a husband to look after them properly, and with a sense of fairness and the maintenance of equality among them (Western March 1921)
Polyandry occurs where one woman is married to more than one man, as for example in certain area of Tibet where one woman will set up a house with a man who may, in turn, be the eldest of seven sons, and his brothers will share his wife with him.
The fear of nicest is strongly ingrained in man, and he has created a variety of tabus in order not to be guilty of this moral and social crime. Our own “Table of kindred and Affinity” clearly establishes those relationships which are not permitted within our society. Out of this incest fear there arises a variety of possibilities and tabus in relation to marriage.
Exogamy implies that marriage may occur only outside the kinship group; in this may incest is avoided altogether. On the other hand, endogamy is an attempt to retain the purity of the group; at the same time there will be very precise rules to avoid any possibility of incestuous marriage.
In some societies there occur levirate and sororate marriages. The law of levirate among the ancient Isrealites. Levir is the Latin word for brother-in-law, for example, was a custom whereby, if a married man die without a male heir, the eldest brother was bound by law to marry the widow in order to ensure a posterity for the dead man. The first son born of this new union world will take on the dead man’s name and his inheritance. this principle of levirate marriage was based upon the view that a man lived on in his children, particularly in his sons.
Sororate marriage is one in which a indower is permitted to marry the sister of his dead wife, although the principle is similar to that of levirate marriage namely, it is a method whereby a man ensures the continence of his lineage.
The locations of the marriage households are defined by the terms patrilocal, matrilocal and neolocal. When the new home is set up near or within the groom’s household, it is referred to as matrilocal residence; when it is set up near the bride’s household it is learned matrolocal residence; an when it is set up in some neutral areas which is completely independent of either household, it is referred to as neolocal residence. (Okike, 2005).
In some societies there has been a tendency for descent privileges, rights and obligations to be traced through the female line, and this is called matrilineal descent. In other societies descent has been traced through the male line, that is patrilineal descent. Bilateral descent traced the descent of children through relatives on both the female and male lines.
Similarly, some societies are ruled by the female element in society, and a matriarchate is formed. There are still relics of such matriarchate throughout the world, including those areas where, infact, there is basically a patriarchate, or male rule, in existence. Thus, for example, in Jamaica there exists the inadernal family; so called because the grand mother or some female relative, perhaps a sister, usurps the function of the father and at times that of the mother, such a family can originate through the girl becoming pregnant while still living at home. The household may consist of her mother, her mother’s sister, and the girl’s siblings. The girl may remain at home and look after her child, but in many cases she leaves another child is brought up by its grandmother’ (Henrigues 1968:113).
There is however, a third form of social control in simpler societies in which the family complex comprises a woman, her children and a number of uncles. This relationship between the uncles and the children is an ‘authority’ relationship called an avunlate, in which ‘fatherhood’ or its equipment is shaved out among a number of men. Family structures are, therefore varied and in consequence the modes of socialization will also be varied (Mursock 1949 in Chikezie 2005).
2.2 THE FUNCTIONS OF THE FAMILY
Whilst it is true that there is a great variety in the familial structures throughout the world, and certainly throughout man’s history, by and large their differences arise out of the nature of the environment and a number of cultural factors. G.P Murdock, in his cross-cultural study of kinship, suggests that it is not merely the family that is universal but also the nuclear family. He further argues that the four functions of the family – sexual, economic, reproductive and educational – are universal.
Melford E. Spiro has argued, however, in his essay entitled. ‘Is the family universal’ that the Israeli Kibbutz, or agricultural collective, does not conform to the criteria laid down by Murdock.
Spiro points out that, despite the emphasis upon children and children’s houses (bet Yeladim), it is not their own parents who provide directly for their physical ‘lands’ it is the responsibility of the Kibbuts as a whole to make this provision. Moreover, the education and socialization of the children are not the function of their parents, but rather of their nurses and teachers.
The parents, however, are of considerable importance to the psychological development of their children within the collective for they serve as the objects of his important identifications, and they provide him with a certain security and love that he obtains from no, one else.
Later on, however, Spiro developed a non-enumerative definition of marriage which he felt would not only include all known cases termed ‘marriage’, but also the Kibbats form of marriage (Bell, 1960). But this is basically an attempt to formulate a definition which must inevitably ensure the university of both marriage and the family. His definition is so broad and ‘non-enumeration’ as to provide no real or essential critenon.
Marriage, he suggests, is ‘any socially sanctioned relationship between non-samquineally- related cohabiting adults of opposite sex which satisfied felt needs – mutual, symmetrical, or complementary’
We cannot, however, do full justice to spiro’s arguments here and the reader of this project must pursue them in spiro’s articles. We will confine ourselves here to a discussion of the actual functions of the family as enumerated by Murdods namely, sexual, economic, reproductive and educational. Included in the educational function are certain special functions of both a psychological and sociological nature which affect their lives negatively that lead to divorce that affect their children’s academic performances.
Basic to man’s needs are those of sexual expansion and affection and what it is obvious that these are attainable outside any such institution as marriage or the family, it is also clear that completely unrestrained fulfillment of sexual desires would lead to a breakdown in the organization of Society, and in its relationships.
According to ‘The form of solennisation of matrimony’ of the Anglican Church (Fletcher, 1966) in Asade, 2010). “The institution of marriage was ordained ‘for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; in order that those individuals who ‘have not the gift of continuance might marry’. It is not necessary, however, to adopt a medieval or puritanical view of sex in order to see that, even if me no longer use such terms as ‘sin’, fornication’ and contingency’, some form of marriage is inevitable if society is to be organized, orderly and lasting.
But, as P.W. Musgrave points out, the institution of marriage is not just a social contrivance to ensure its own security and futurity through the family. Indeed, the family has come to be used as a very specialized agency for providing the affection that helps to ensure the emotional stability needed if men and women and to manage their lives successfully, under modern conditions’ (Misgranve 1998). This takes into account something beyond the crude and pressing biological urges of man.
Emotional stability is, in the long run, far more vital for man than sheer physical excitement. Such stability in the male female relationship is reached in and through an element of permanency and personal adjustment. In terms, however, of the growth and development of any children within the family institution, it is clear that what children require above all else in their early years is a feelings of security and stability.
The family also has a reproductive function as distinct from the mere exercise of the sexual function. The social cell or social microcosm, through which society is perpetuated and recreated. The more stable the family the more secure the children will feel in the home. The child living in the shadow of the broken home is often bewildered by comings and goings, and by the mere fact that essential relationships are not promoted, or are broken off and disrupted at a very impressionable time. Both parents would appear to be essential elements in the growth and socialization of the child; the roles they have to play one different but, at the sometime, complementary.
In his study of the ‘principal functions of the Nuclear family’ Parsons (2000), emphasizes is not ‘born’, but has to be ‘made’ through the socializing process. It is because of this that families are essential institutions in the first place; they are ‘factories’ which produces human personalities.
There is, therefore, a basic role-structure in the nuclear family, which promotes such socialization. The family is in a very real sense a social network with role-relationships, and though parsons himself rejects the term little society as applied to the family (Parsiosn 2002). His term ‘a differentiated subsystem of society is not too far removed from the concept of a micro-society. The fact remains, however, that in the role-structure of the family, persons sees the father as being superior in ‘instrumental’ power, and the mother as superior in ‘expressive’ power. He states that the area of the instrumental function of the father is concerned with the relations of the family system to its situation outside the system.
It is concerned with meeting the adaptive conditions of its maintenance of equilibrium, and with establishing instrumentally the desired relations to external goal objects.
On the other hands, the area of the expressive function of the mother is more taken up with the internal affairs of the family system and with the integrative relations among its various members; it is concerned with the ‘regulation of the patterns and tension levels of its component units, that is, with the interplay, control and development of the emotions.
At the present, we are concerned to emphasis that mere reproductively does not require the institutions of marriage and the family for its occurrence. The continuance of a stable society, however, requires something more than just the production of children and their mass rearing in an institution of the order of a communal nursery.
Okike (2011) opines that human existence is something different from animal existence in that the development of the child physically and psychologically requires a role-structure such as that of the family. The ‘stigma’ of the child born out of wedlock should certainly not be that, throughout life, it is regarded as illegitimate and the product of socially and morally reprehensive behaviour. A stigma is a brand or a mark which is attached to something for as long as it exists and the real stigma, in this sense, as far as an illegitimate child is concerned, is the social and physiological deprivation the results from never experiencing the totality of the interaction process of the family. There is considerable cruelty involved in the social and legal sanctions attached to illegitimacy, but in the deepest sense there latter are not comparable with the psychological and emotional deprivation involved, although there is little doubt that the one element will aggravates the other.
Another important function of the family is the economic one. It would, of course, be quite wrongs to single out the human family as the only animal group which is concerned with the economic’ security of its young, or even of its developed members. Dr. M.D. Sahlins has demonstrated that the social nature of the baboon, for example, is comparable with the human organization for economic and social survival, and that although in a sense its sex activity may be ‘indiscriminate’ within the baboon society, it is by no means ‘promiscuous (Sablins, 1960).
Competition with regard to partners may, in fact, be vicious and even fatal, but there is a certain group or social purpose, however unconscious or ‘instinctive’ it may be similarly, among human beings in their evolution there has been a gradual subordination of the sexual drive to the needs, social and economic of the group. The progressive emancipation of sex from sheer hormonal and glandular control to cerebral and intellectual control means that man has seen the essential desirability of sexual order so as to fulfill social and collective ends. And the economic need of man is one of the most pressing.
It is in this area of economic function that the family in a developed society such as our own has changed so much over the past thirty years.
Fletcher (1996) argues quite strongly that it is untrue to suggest that the family in our present society ‘has been stripped of its functions’ and has, as a consequence, become of diminished importance as a social institution. On the contrary, the modern family fulfils more functions, and in a far more detailed and sophisticated manner, than did the family before or during the nineteenth –century development of industrialization.
This, of course, may be true, but there are at the same time certain elements which help to contribute to its earlier disintegration as a stable unit with more or less fixed role – relationships.
2.3 THE FAMILY AND EDUCATION
Note only is the family an institution which permits some safeguarding of, the child, during its period of biological immaturity, it is also an institution which provides for the child’s primary socialization and initial education.
Milchell (1999) has pointed out that parenthood is rapidly becoming a highly self-conscious vocation; and it is in the realms of interpersonal relationships and social interaction that this self consciousness operates. Socialization is simply the process whereby an individual is adapted to his social environment, and it eventually recognized as both a co-operating and efficient member of it.
The child has to learn how to live within the differentiated subsystem of society, that is, his family or home; but this is simply the playground, as it were, of socialization. His family life may in no way be typically of family life generally within his society. Certainly, in a society with a social stratification, it cannot epitomize every level of society.
Nevertheless, as Swift (2010) points out, ‘the child will learn some patterns of behaviour, perceptions of reality and habits of thinking which are features of the wider social environment and some of which are special to his family.
The eliciting of social attitudes, the promotion of self-awareness as well as other awareness are all elements in the socialization of the individual. At quite an early age a child begins to place himself in the position of others, that is, to take on the role of others, but it is done in a very initiative and uncomprehending may. For example, a boy may copy his father by reading’ the newspaper even though the paper may be held upside-down, professor Spratt refers to the infant as ‘a’ bundle of needs’ which arise out of inner tensions, and capacities to respond to stimulation. (Sprott, 2008).
The education which the family provides before the child enters an educational institution should assist him in fulfilling is needs and in relieving those inner tensions. The socializing and personalizing process of the home is the means whereby he gradually comes to regard himself as one individual among many and at the same time as having relationships with other individuals.
Misgrove (2006) has emphasized that the claims which schools make concerning their impact upon children’s characters’ are probably both extravagant and unfounded. He maintains that they are, in general, ‘of negligible influence’. The real, prime and lasting influence is in the home, and if there is deprivation here material, mental or spiritual, there will be some form of deprivation in the child’s personality.
In his work for the World Health Organization Dr. John Bowlby concluded that observations of severally deprived children demonstrated that their consciences and their potentialities were not developed. He linked this with the fact that in the child’s earliest years it was the mother who acted as his personality and his conscience. Such deprivation was greatest in the case of children brought up in broken homes, who displayed in consequence a serious and particular parent’s incapacity for abstract thought, which in turn resulted in lack of originality, togetherness, value judgment and decision-making.
Socialization in the family is much more than a mere question of house training, learning a few rules and accepting or rejecting familial sanctions. It is the beginning of that internalization of the culture of the family’s society with will go on throughout the individual’s life, unless he suffers some partial or total alienation from that culture. It is true that his home and family may assist him in his internalization, it is equally true, however, that the very constellations of ideas, beliefs and practices of parents may militate against such internalization.
2.4 FAMILY VARIATION IN DEMANDS ON THE INFLUENCE OF BROKEN HOMES ON CHILDREN
Families vary in their demands on children. For example, in the amount of independence they give or expect at different ages. McClelland found substantial differences in the ages at which the following four abilities were expected by different groups of families.
i) That the child knows his may around the city so that he can play where he wants without getting lost.
ii) That he be willing to try new thing on his own without depending on his mother for help;
iii) That a child does well in competition with other children, tries hard to come out on top in games and sports; and
iv) That he makes his own friends among children of his own age. ‘Early development of these abilities in certain families was highly correlated with high achievement by the children (Okike, 2011). Families teach different attitude toward authority; some teach children to respect it, some to fear it, and others to defy it. These attitudes permeate the child’s relationships with important people in his life, probably for the rest of his life.
In the same way, the children pick up a family aspiration level, more important in some ways for future achievement than almost any other personality fact. Children learn in their families the roles that people play. They carry these role conceptions to school and into other social relationships.
The school’s interest in this is twofold.
First, we want to help children cope with their immediate living situation.
Second, we want to build skills and attitudes in interpersonal relations that will help children build a better concept of family. (Dunoyaye, 2011). Children can be helped in school to understand and accept the many differences between families’ ways of living, to handle, their relationships with their siblings and with their parents more successful, to get a better understanding of how the neigbhours live and how theywe want to help children cope with their immediate living situation.
Second, we want to build skills and attitudes in interpersonal relations that will help children build a better concept of family. (Dunoyaye, 2011). Children can be helped in school to understand and accept the many differences between families’ ways of living, to handle, their relationships with their siblings and with their parents more successful, to get a better understanding of how the neigbhours live and how they look at the behaviour of others. Schools help children understand the roles that different family members play. They help them handle the conflicts that family living and living in general involves. As a supplementary agency to the family, the school is interested in knowing such information as the influence the family has over their children’s learning at school.
2.5 TEACHERS AND PARENTS FROM DIFFERENT SOCIO-ECONOMIC LEVELS
The teacher’s role with parents of different socio-economic backgrounds has a bearing on the curriculum of the school. First, we have to learn from parents some of the things that let us know what the child’s behaviour means to himself. Second, we learn from parents enough of the motivations, the values that move them, to enable us to know the kinds of school experiences that children will be able to use, considering the values held by their parents. The school has a supplementing function, but this supplement has to be realistic.
The school’s conception of what children need may be consistent with the over-all philosophy of our society, but a child’s background may make it impossible for him to engage fully in the school curriculum; the curriculum may conflict radically with the homes values, so that in order for the child to accept the school’s offerings, he must reject his home.
This is neither desinable nor very likely, except in isolated instances. It is apparent that one of the principal outcomes of teachers – parents contacts is an understanding by the school of th specific life pattern of the child (Gaker, 1977).
2.6 THE FAMILY AS A KEY IN THE CHILD’S DEVELOPMENT
It is obvious that the family is the key to the child’s personality development. Understanding the family culture enable the teacher to do these things.
i) Understand the meaning of the child’s behaviour to himself;
ii) Help modify the family’s handing of children when essential;
iii) Adapt his own role to the use child needs to make of the teacher. For example, as a parent surrogates; as an example of democratic authority; as a consistent, trusted adult in a shifting life pattern; or as a warm human being in a world felt to be aloof, indifferent or rejecting.
2.7 PARENTS AND HOME BACKGROUND
The parents and teachers share the major responsibility for training the children. A child’s behaviour us often a reflection of his home training and emulation of both parents and teachers; hence these adults should be alive to their responsibilities and practice what they preach. The parents teachers association recommended at the principles’ conference should be strongly developed in every school.
Problem children usually come from homes where discipline is too lax, to permissive or too dictatorial when home discipline is highly rigid and dictatorial, the pupil’s reactions at school may range from apathetic submissiveness to open rebellion, destructiveness and truancy. When home discipline is lax, especially in broke homes or where parental ambition is highly materialistic for money making, the children enjoy too much freedom, get overindulged, disrespectful and often end up as drug addicts and hemp smokers (DUNYAIYE, 1972).
2,8 CORRUPT SOCIETY AND IN APPROPRIATE CURRICULUM
This referrers mainly to the negative influence of Nigeria’s adult society, a society so materialistic that bribery and corruption, and the mad ambition for cheap wealth and power are the order of the day. There are the order of the day. There are adults who publicly watch sex films and read pornographic literature for curious art-looking children’s to initiate.
Children desire to achieve status and to be significant in the eyes of their parents, teachers, adults and particularly their peer group.
An inappropriate cutt curriculum often leads to restlessness and inattentiveness by students or to classroom disorderliness. This is particularly so when the topic being taught is either absolute or not related to their immediate practical experience, example, some topics on the school certificate syllabus, or too easy and hence unchallenging. Therefore, when a teachers gives a fairly difficult assignment to his class, he should not be surprised to notice some disciplinary problems (Adesina, 1980).
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